Torrance High School

‘Empty beds and broken hearts’ — A poem for Parkland

Books and backpacks

Pencils in pouches

Students in bodybags

No bells only shots ring

No practice, no dinner

Only shooters and sinners

No morning

Only mourners

Early morning prayers on a Wednesday

Bodies don’t get buried till more mourning on a Sunday

No milestones or tassle throws

Only growing roses and tombstones

Rising death tolls and bells that tell of funerals

Empty beds and broken hearts

No hearts beat

No children dance

Post mortem I love yous

I would’ve told you if I had the chance

This is no new news

This is not the first, this is not the last

Too many children killed walking to class

American carnage consoled with carnations

coronations of leaders who think bandaids will protect schools

And heal our nation

Unless ink and compassion flows

Laws pass and guns go

You will lose our vote

So Scott, Martin, Nicholas, and Alyssa,

Aaron, Alaina, Meadow, and Helena,

Jaime, Chris, Luke, and Cara,

Joaquine, Alex, and Gina stay alive

So 17 faces smile

So 17 dream in figures and a crown three teachers

And 14 students graduating in caps and gowns

So 17 sit down and 17 seats fill with the future

When will it be a last breath too many?

When will the candle flames die cuz students don’t

When will we quit drowning in

Our own sorrow

Our own blood

And gasp for air

Grasp change

And pass laws

Be kind to others

And show that we care

We are almost there

For every candle every night a torch burns everyday and burns bright

Allowing us to photograph the darkness

So we can grasp the light

When the sun sets

Tunnel light into the future

And bury hate with the past

So students aren’t targets

And theres no shooters to shoot

Dreams to nightmares

Schools to memorials

Times like these seem a long ways from the American dream